Fife-based Spencerfield Spirit Company has just picked up another huge accolade with success in this year’s Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

The company was named “Export Business of the Year” at the awards dinner held in Dunblane Hydro.

Spencerfield pipped Summer Isles Foods to win the award, which was sponsored by the Clydesdale Bank.

Director Alex Nicol said that the company chooses its markets carefully to match innovative products.

He said that the main markets are the USA and Spain, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

The value of Spencerfield exports has almost doubled in the last three years, with the aim of achieving 80% export by 2016.

Alex said that Scottish Development International (SDI) had helped the company to develop a strategic plan which focuses on core markets to add volume and margin.

Spencerfield Spirit Company, a member of the Fife Food Network’s “Food from Fife” initiative, has its home in a 16th century farmhouse overlooking the Forth Rail Bridge. 

It was set up by former marketing director of Glenmorangie and whisky aficionado Alex, who along with his wife Jane is dedicated to providing a quality niche alternative to the more conventional mainstream brands. 

They work with Richard Paterson, a third-generation Master Blender, to develop the Spencerfield products. 

The flagship product, the irreverently named Sheep Dip, was developed in 1970, with its stablemate Pig’s Nose being launched three years later. 

Both whiskies have recently been joined by the 1990 Old Hebridean, a first vintage for Sheep Dip, and by Edinburgh Gin, which is infused with Scottish juniper, pine, heather and milk thistle.

The name for Spencerfield Spirit Company’s acclaimed Sheep Dip whisky comes from an old West Country term in which farmers referred to whisky as Sheep Dip (which was an insecticide used to delouse sheep prior to shearing). 

The company has over 150 stockists in the UK alone, and also sells related special drinks packs, miniatures, glasses, mugs and clothing.

As far back as the mid to late 1700’s James Anderson, who farmed the Spencerfield land, was partly responsible for the inspiration behind the US bourbon industry.

The chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, James Withers, said that the Excellence Awards provide an inspiring snapshot of everything that is great about Scottish food and drink – from mouthwatering products to innovative companies and inspiring people. 

“The breadth of entries showcases just how varied the sector is with artisan producers, multinational companies and everything in between combining to create our internationally renowned land of food and drink,” he said.

The photograh shows Alex, event compere Hardeep Singh Kohli, Jane, and Alastair Christmas, assistant regional director from Clydesdale Bank


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